Archive For The “Destinations” Category

Zurich Arrival

Zurich Arrival

The city of Zurich is the largest and wealthiest in Switzerland, and one of the oldest. Evidence of settlement in the area dates back more than 6,000 years, and the city was formally founded as a Romans camp around 15 BC. Over the centuries since, the city grew and prospered into the vibrant metropolis it…

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Wilderness Camping

Wilderness Camping

Camping, like snowshoeing, initially held little appeal to us when we moved back to Seattle. We had camped a fair bit when we lived in Toronto in the late 1980s and enjoyed it. But we lost all interest in the activity following a miserable camping trip to Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula on a Labour Day weekend….

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Slippery Creek

Slippery Creek

Slippery Creek is a tributary of the White River, that flows from the northeast flank of Mt Rainier and eventually through the Muckleshoot Reservation and later joins the Puyallup River to flow into the Puget Sound near Tacoma. Heading south from Seattle, we followed Slippery Creek upstream, first through the Muckleshoot Reservation and past their…

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Tinkham Campground

Tinkham Campground

Even though we’d just returned from a two-night camping trip, we decided to head out for another night, this time to the Tinkham Campground in Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. We were eager to test our our new awning, and just couldn’t wait for the following weekend. It was a rainy Sunday night and we expected…

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Huckleberry Creek

Huckleberry Creek

One of the aspects of wilderness camping that we really like is the opportunity to get out into the mountains and enjoy wonderful views. Finding the right campsite can take a bit of time, but we enjoy exploring and so far having been finding one excellent site after another, all with great views. Huckleberry Creek…

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Amabilis Mountain

Amabilis Mountain

Amabilis Mountain, south of Keechelus Ridge, is a popular snowshoeing and cross-country skiing destination that is less-visited for summer hiking due to the number of better trails nearby. The winter recreation season was well over when we visited in mid-June, but snow still covered the road near the summit, resulting in few visitors to the…

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Keechelus Ridge

Keechelus Ridge

Keechelus Ridge rises 5,000 feet (1,525 m) above I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass, separating Keechelus Lake directly west of the freeway from Kachless Lake to the east. National Forest roads crisscross the ridge, many with great views westward to Keechelus Lake, the Yakima River headwaters and the Cascade Mountain Range. And several good wilderness campsites…

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Palm Springs

Palm Springs

The desert resort city of Palm Springs, California is known for its mid-century modern architecture and extensive cultural and recreational opportunities. The city has much public art, and an excellent museum focusing on natural science, contemporary art and performing art. For recreation, Joshua Tree National Park is within an hour’s drive. And the city is…

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Joshua Tree National Park Day 3

Joshua Tree National Park Day 3

Eureka Peak, at elevation 5,521 ft (1,683 m), is the fourth highest in Joshua Tree National Park and the highest that is road accessible. From the end of the road, a short walk leads to the summit with sweeping views in all directions. On our third and final day in Joshua Tree National Park, we…

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Joshua Tree National Park Day 2

Joshua Tree National Park Day 2

Joshua Tree National Park straddles the boundary of the higher-altitude Mojave Desert and the lower-altitude Colorado Desert. We’d spent the previous day in the Mojave Desert portion and on our second day drove south into the Colorado Desert to a less-visited area of the park at Cottonwood. The plant life there is quite different, with…

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Joshua Tree National Park Day 1

Joshua Tree National Park Day 1

Joshua Tree National Park, near Palm Springs in southern California, is known for its surreal rock formations and the twisted, spiky trees that are the park’s namesake. Straddling the Mojave and Colorado deserts, the 795,156-acre (1,242 sq mi; 3,217 sq km) park has a unique ecosystem that supports a wide variety of plant and animal…

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Beckler River

Beckler River

Our first wilderness campsite was exactly what we were hoping for: secluded, with an interesting view and an opportunity for walking or hiking. After an initial test run of our camping gear at Bay View State Park, we went to look for a wilderness campsite at the Beckler River, near Stevens Pass in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie…

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Bay View State Park

Bay View State Park

For our first time camping in 30 years, we reserved a site at Bay View State Park near Anacortes. All our new camping gear worked out very well, and we had a great time both at the campsite and walking the beach nearby. We were warm and comfortable sleeping in the truck, and the awning…

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Camping Gear

Camping Gear

Earlier this year we decided to replace boat exploration with SUV exploration and wilderness camping. But, as with moving back Seattle in the first place, we were pretty much starting from scratch with camping gear. Besides the Engel HD30 cooler that we’d purchased for our road trip across the country, everything else had to be…

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Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing didn’t initially appeal to us as a winter sport. The gear seemed cumbersome, and our perception was that we’d be mostly walking along level ground through snowy woods or meadows. While we enjoy winter scenery, that just didn’t strike us as very exciting. We had wanted to do more winter hiking, but were finding…

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Umbrella Falls Snowshoe

Umbrella Falls Snowshoe

Umbrella Falls spills 59 ft (18m) down a sloping wall near the headwaters of the East Fork of Oregon’s Hood River. The trail to the falls is a popular summer hike, and in the winter is part of a system of marked snowshoe trails at the Mt. Hood Meadows ski area. We hiked to Umbrella…

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Tucker Sno-Cat

Tucker Sno-Cat

Distinctive bright-orange Tucker Sno-Cats have been operating at Timberline on Mt. Hood since the beginning of skiing in the area. They are so synonymous with the ski resort that the local Mt. Hood Brewing Company named a beer after the pair: the Timberline Tucker Double IPA. Featured on the label, and above, is a refurbished…

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Timberline Snowshoe

Timberline Snowshoe

The Timberline ski area at 11,249 ft (3,429 m) Mt. Hood has the longest ski season in North America, operating from October through August in ideal years. From a maximum altitude of 8,540 ft (2,602 m), the winter vertical drop is 4,540 ft (1,383 m) and in the summer it’s 2,616 ft (797 m). The…

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